tv Soviet Active Measures CSPAN April 30, 2017 4:00pm-4:26pm EDT
doing as much as this show is doing with slavery. >> thank you both for being here at the american historical association. >> like us on facebook at c-span history. each week, american history tv's railamerica brings you archival films that provide context for today's issues. this is on efforts by soviet agents to use disinformation, forgery and the spreading of fake news to further their cold war agenda. this includes interviews with journalists and several defectors.
the u.s. information agency directed public diplomacy from 1953 on till it was disbanded in 1999, producing many films for overseas audiences. >> this information is absolutely central to soviet tragedy were debating what they call the -- soviet strategy in defeating the united states without firing a shot. >> they are involved in intelligence gathering information for extra measures-- >> i have to admit i am a author of a number of forgeries. the chezachoslaviakian government produced information that the generic and government -- that the american government was planning an assassination of the egyptian president.
the egyptian president. bribery, agent of influence and overall dirty tricks are part of a broad range of soviet activities called active measures. this program is about these soviet active measures. we'll hear from the journalists like newsweek former correspondent and french authors and former kgb officer and former shackles login -- czech intelligence officer. we will also talk to the man whose job it is to respond to these active measures. [drums beat] ♪
>> in the mid-1960's, he was deputy director of the czechoslovakiaian department of disinformation. he defected to the united states. >> this information is -- disinformation is leaked into the communication system of the opponent with the expectation it would be accepted as genuine information and influence either
the decision-making process or to influence public opinion. announcer: he was director of france's leading newsmagazine for a number of years. today he is the author of a long list of books on politics and philosophy. [speaking french] >> disinformation is not just lies or falsification, it is the art of your enemy saying what you want them to say. this consists of conditioning western journalists in such a way that -- even sometimes financial reasons, these journalists would write with the soviet union would want them to write, after which they take their text and say even the
western press is saying that. active measures consist of making up completely false a document which is they try to have distributed as authentic western documents. we have many famous examples from the tasmanian reports of 1952 to the fake matter of ronald reagan to the king of spain juan carlos. both techniques have enormous importance in the strategy of mental destabilization of the
west by the soviet union. >> he is an expert in the field of soviet active measures. in the middle 1970's, he was a major in the kgb. he formally worked with a major soviet department. he was in the department which plans and overseas soviet -- active measures for the soviet union. he was chief of accident measures -- of active measures at the kgb office in tokyo. in 1979, he defected the ninth date. -- to the united states. >> the soviets are involved in active measures in any country in the world. the number of operations they are running can be comparable to the thousands. we are talking about many thousands of people, at least a few thousand people who in the
soviet union and outside of the soviet union are involved in this kind of action on a daily basis. at the very top of the pyramid -- they prove the mess to germanic and large-scale global and regional active measures. but daily the business is being run by the international department. the international department is responsible for planning coordination and implementation of the soviet active measures abroad.
the main difference is when soviets are running an active measure operation, for instance planting a major story in the newspaper in france, west germany, japan, elsewhere --that kind of article would normally be written by a local, prominent journalist who expresses his or her own opinion. these kinds of rings. these kinds of things would not be traceable back to the soviet union. about 40%-40% soviet union citizens stationed abroad are kgb officers. another 60% are cooperating with kgb.
every soviet union who is a official is involved in active measures activity. one way or the other. >> from 1964 until 1966, the czechoslovakiaan service was involved in measures against the united states, undermining american policy in western europe and developing countries. at the same time they were thinking about making a documentary about -- that actually brought the czechoslovakia disinformation department an idea to use it. he actually prepared a series of documents for that purpose.
they dropped four chests at the bottom of the black lake. we do not have the documents. then came the czechoslovakian team. i was one of the divers. they did not know i was a intelligence officer. they thought i was an official. i led the diving team to the area where these chests were placed on the bottom and were discovered. and the minister of the interior and out at a special press -- announced at a special press conference that historically
important documents were discovered in the late and that was the beginning of a campaign that lasted two years. the purpose was to revive the threat of nazism and say west germany is still a danger to you. announcer: one of the major themes is forgery. dr. witten explains. >> developing countries where the governments and did not have the expertise to analyze properly these corporations. very cheap forgery excepted anti-american forgeries -- accepted anti-american forgeries are accepted. >> one of the most damaging measures of disinformation occurred in ghana where the number two man in the
government held a press conference and waved a document around and said i have the proof. this document a report in the west german embassy of a conversation with the american ambassador where he explained how and why the americans were going to overthrow that a government. this led to a sharp deterioration between our governments. eventually they accepted the west german expedition of why this was a -- west german explanation of why this was a fake document. announcer: they were not the
only forgeries. >> at this time the east german intelligence service started a worldwide campaign to undermine, to paralyze operations of cia and they came up with the incentive to publish a book called who is who in the cia. the information came from czechoslovakian and east german archives. the book contains a number of names supposedly cia operatives. about 50% of the names in that book are truly cia agents, cia operatives and then there is a number of names of various american diplomats, public officials, judges, journalists who never worked for the cia. >> u.s. army field manual, 3031
b which goes back to the middle 70's and it is supposed to be a manual on how to destabilize countries. it has appeared in about 20 different countries. i remember on many occasions -- white gloves in the drawers of my desk, secret packages would come in the mail and i would know each time there would be some forgery there. like in spy movies. you are not supposed to leave
--to believe in the traces. some forgers work on forgeries using gloves. >> the soviets and the bulgarians have had terrible levity in the possible assassination --the possible for gary and -- bulgarian connection, and it appeared in this magazine -- a story based on two telegrams supposedly written by the american embassy in rome proposing how the u.s. could take it vantage of the assassination to orchestrate the
press in europe in such a way that the soviets and bulgarians would be criticized. fortunately they were on their toes and not to this down as two fake telegrams. in the case of the wrong telegrams, there were a number of mistakes made. number one they forgot to put a cable number on it. all american embassy kilograms of a number on it. that was in the first of eight. second mistake was in the addressee line in washington. this was supposedly a suggestion from infancy rome to usia in washington. no telegram would go out if it was a uscis telegram. many mistakes civil service and
bureaucrats make but they get the name of their organization right. >> forgery is only one kind of active measure. >> soviets also have more than two years of experience running so-called soviet fronts. by fronts they are organizations that plan to be public -- that claim to be public but they are run by international department of the central committee of the communist party of the soviet union. the council that has headquarters in helsinki, and whatever the world peace council does, the leadership of the world peace council is disapproved by him.
>> your member in the nine states in june of 1982, we had the largest demonstration since the vietnam war about the nuclear issue. there were 28 members of that demonstration, of that 28 54 members of communist party or members of the u.s. affiliate of the world peace council. the five were able to convince the other 23. the focus was on nato missiles and not on the eastern missiles. it was a further reinforcement of the line they were trying to push hard. announcer: another type of active measure is the agent of influence. he has firsthand knowledge of this activity. >> they use practically any type of actions to try to get to people's cooperation --trying to get people's cooperation. first of all they are trying to recruit agents of influence. without agents of influence, the soviets would never be able to implement any measures.
>> the best recent example came in west germany where he turned out to be an east german by. -- spy. >> he is supposed to be able to influence public opinion or business circles our government circles -- or government circles. in japan, the most important soviet agent of influence was --by the time soviets approached him -- he was one-time member of the japanese government. he started to exchange the delegations between the japanese parliament and the parliamentarians of the soviets.
the soviets are using him to spread disinformation. announcer: one technique of him active measures is the use of rumors. >> for example, at the time of the tragedy at the mosque in mecca, in 1979 when it was attacked, there were rumors spreading that the cia was behind it. indeed, at the time, there was a test match, a cricket match between india and pakistan
taking place and one of the broadcasters on that cricket match which was listened to all over india and pakistan, he mentioned on the radio this is a report that he had heard a report that the united states was behind the attack of the mosque in mecca. the next day the united states in the sea in the form of -- embassy in islamabad was attacked and burned. announcer: some questions remain unanswered. what is the effect of all these
active measures and why did the soviets engage in these activities? >> of course, we cannot be so naive to think that one success will disinformation operation can totally change the balance of power but they believe that these operations have cumulative effect. >> one way of looking at the impact of these activities, they have gone on for many years, since the 1950's. you are speaking of 30 or so years. think of a drop of water falling on a stone. five minutes, 10 minutes, one
day, nothing happens. five years, 10 years, 15 years, you have worn a hole in the stone. >> it is hard for journalists to admit to this is going on. they have to admit they have been ripping off their leaders -- their readers. it is important to educate people about these techniques and i would say particularly people involved in international relations and international communications. to make them aware of the basic elementary techniques of disinformation and active measures so they develop particular devices so it makes it more difficult for the soviets to misuse these people because in many cases the messengers of do not know that
they are being used. >> if the democracies do not regain their self-confidence, i am very pessimistic because of the soviet union is extremely skilled in its propaganda techniques. i think the reality of our future lies in what i would call the reconquest of the truth. ♪ [drums sound] ♪ >> interested in american history tv? visit our website. you can view our tv schedule, preview upcoming programs and watch college lectures, museum taurus and archival bills and more. american history tv at c-span.org/history.
announcer: next on american history tv, we hear intelligence experts discussed some of the most notable espionage sites in the nation's capital including embassies, hotels and even walking paths. it focuses on their new book "spy sites of washington dc." this event is about 90 minutes. >> welcome, we are delighted to see you. i am the executive director and i think you are in for a scintillating evening. i must say, it is going to be a pleasure given all of that is going -- given all that is going on around us to be able to talk about things that happened in the paca